As was anticipated by the tip of this month, GM has lastly introduced its Chevy Bolt battery repair.

The repair is in response to the battery fire recall introduced 167 days in the past. That is nearly two months since any other update. The NHTSA recall notification did point out April 20 because the date for the repair. Nevertheless, Chevy maintained that it was all the time aiming for the tip of April. Immediately’s the day.

As a refresher, there have been 5 reported Chevrolet Bolts with LG Chem batteries that caught fireplace in 2020; they have been all at practically a full state of cost. Three of them have been unplugged, and one had been pushed very just lately. Three have been investigated by the NHTSA. Consequently, GM issued a recall on November 13, 2020. This restricted the state of cost of the automobiles to “90%” (truly 95%) as a precaution. It additionally advised house owners to park and cost outdoors if they might. Dealerships have been prohibited from promoting used Bolts affected by the recall, though a number of continued to take action. Regardless of touting their All Electric Future, GM remained comparatively silent on their nascent automobile into this journey. It did, nonetheless, capriciously supply buybacks. Seemingly at random, they have been doubtless tied to states’ lemon legal guidelines, to the ire of many house owners.

GM wasn’t the one one with LG issues

At virtually the identical time that GM was having its downside, the Hyundai Kona was additionally catching fire. There have been 11 fires in South Korea, two in Canada, and one every in Finland and Austria. Hyundai responded equally with a charging limitation recall a month earlier than the Bolt’s. Sadly that was not sufficient – extra Konas caught fire. This ultimately led to Hyundai figuring out that the trigger was a badly folded battery tab. An settlement was labored with LG to replace all battery packs in all their Kona EV, Ionic, and Elec Metropolis buses. The Kona’s popularity was so severely broken that Hyundai is now not promoting it in Korea.

GM instantly acquired elevated calls to interchange their batteries, however have been fast to rebuff. It cited that the issue that affected Hyundai was not the identical downside. House owners have been left to impatiently watch for GM’s last replace. An Casual survey on Facebook confirmed that about half of the house owners trusted GM’s eventual decision. A couple of quarter of householders have been prepared to belief so long as they’d extra details about what occurred and why. The remaining house owners wished a battery substitute both method.

So the place does the Bolt battery repair depart house owners now?

The Bolt battery repair is just a software program repair – GM calls it “superior onboard diagnostic software program.” It is going to “have the power to detect potential points associated to adjustments in battery module efficiency earlier than issues can develop.” The replace will restore 100% capability. If any defect is discovered by the software program, the affected module can be changed.

GM is beginning with the 2019 mannequin 12 months instantly, and the 2017-2018 fashions should wait one other month earlier than these updates can be found. It’s not instantly clear as to why. We have now reached out to GM for remark and can replace as soon as we get a response. Ultimately, the entire BEV2 battery lineup will get the up to date software program, together with the brand new 2022 Bolt EV and EUVs.

The recall solely impacts batteries that have been produced in LG Chem’s Ochang, Korea, facility. Nevertheless, a number of 2019 house owners that weren’t topic to the recall (presumably having batteries produced within the US) have reported that the software program repair is displaying as accessible for his or her automobiles instantly.

GM’s official Bolt battery repair announcement

That is now the one content material on their recall page:

Common Motors is notifying house owners of choose 2017-2019 mannequin 12 months Chevrolet Bolt EVs that it has developed a treatment to finish the beforehand introduced security recall.

As a part of the service process, sellers will make the most of GM-developed diagnostic instruments to determine potential battery anomalies and substitute battery module assemblies as essential. The treatment will even embody the set up of superior onboard diagnostic software program into these automobiles that, amongst different issues, has the power to detect potential points associated to adjustments in battery module efficiency earlier than issues can develop.

Clients might want to go to their nearest collaborating Chevrolet EV seller to have the treatment service process carried out. As soon as the treatment process is accomplished, the seller will take away the 90% state of cost limitation and return the battery to its earlier 100% charging functionality.

Clients of 2019 mannequin 12 months Chevrolet Bolt EVs will be capable of have this treatment carried out beginning on April 29 and prospects who personal 2017 and 2018 mannequin 12 months Bolt EVs can be eligible to have the treatment carried out by the tip of Might. We will even be making the superior diagnostic software program accessible to all different Bolt EV house owners within the coming months. Moreover, we can be making this diagnostic software program commonplace within the 2022 Bolt EV and EUV, in addition to future GM electrical automobiles.

GM Information Relations replace – April 29, 2021

House owners have been despatched the next:

Electrek’s Take

It’s good to see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel, and that GM is assured {that a} software program repair is all that’s wanted. It’s unlucky, nonetheless, that the 2017-2018s have to attend one other month with no apparent rationalization.

Having some particulars about what the issue was, and the way it was fastened, would go a good distance towards restoring credibility. Many vocal house owners (who weren’t fortunate sufficient to get a buyback) really feel that the issue is bodily. Telling them, successfully, “Don’t fear, the software program will repair it,” gained’t placate them. A number of house owners within the Fb proprietor’s group have said that they intend to promote their Bolts now and won’t purchase one other Chevy.

Successfully what is going on is that GM is including software program that may detect {hardware} failures that may result in fires. If the brand new software program detects an abnormality, then it can inform you to take your Bolt in for a battery swap.

As I previously explored, GM is at a really pivotal level that may have an effect on their future. They’re shifting to all-electric, and this was a really embarrassing blunder proper as that was beginning.

The chance stage may be very excessive, they usually realize it. With $120 billion in gross sales a 12 months, that’s so much to gamble on. I’ve to consider that their engineers wouldn’t be continuing with this plan of action except they’re completely satisfied. If any extra fires do happen, nonetheless, it may very well be disastrous.

What do you assume? Would you be prepared to purchase a post-recall Bolt now? There’ll doubtless be low cost offers because the stock of lease returns begins to flood the market. Or was this not sufficient for you? Tell us within the feedback.

Photograph: John F. Martin for Chevrolet

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